Opposition alleges ex-President Yameen’s reinvestigation a ‘diversion tactic’

Former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom is summoned to the police headquarters for questioning on July 10, 2021. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

The opposition coalition, composed of PPM and PNC, alleges the move to summon former Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom to the police headquarters for re-questioning is an attempt to divert the public’s attention from constant criticism against the government.

Yameen was re-questioned by the police this week in connection to the money laundering case against him over the sale of V. Aarah for resort development.

Yameen’s lawyers have questioned the intention of the authorities in re-questioning the opposition leader in a case they had already investigated.

Police had concluded the investigation into the Aarah case and requested the Prosecutor General’s Office for charges back in April.

Yameen’s lead lawyer, former Vice President Dr. Mohamed Jameel Ahmed said the police informed the lawyers they were re-questioning Yameen at the instruction of the Prosecutor General’s Office.

He said that the police told him on Monday that the Prosecutor General’s Office said the legal warning when Yameen was originally questioned in the case was given incorrectly.

The opposition coalition issued a statement on Tuesday expressing concern over how the case is being handled.

“The forced continuation of an investigation which had already been closed, without responding to questions on behalf of President Yameen to clarify how the case is being handled, shows the extent of political influence on the police,” said the opposition coalition in its statement.

The opposition alleged Yameen was being re-questioned in the case to appease members of ruling MDP.

“The opposition therefore calls on the police not to bow down to political pressure, and execute their legal powers,” reads the statement.

The opposition also called on the government to stop what they called continued abuses against Yameen.

Yameen, who was serving a five-year prison sentence for money laundering, was transferred to home confinement following an outbreak of COVID-19 at the Maafushi Prison in April.